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How ERP Software for Food Manufacturers Unlocks Savings and Increases Profitability

How ERP Software for Food Manufacturers Unlocks Savings and Increases Profitability


How ERP Software for Food Manufacturers Unlocks Savings and Increases Profitability

17 Nov 2022

John McCurdy
A food factory worker observes manufacturing equipment producing snacks.

It might seem elementary or even a bit trite to say, but you know well as a food and beverage manufacturing professional that it takes money to make money. What’s more complicated, though, is figuring out how to stay in the black when your funds don’t go as far as they used to, as is the case in today’s challenging macroeconomic environment.

IDC’s Global Food and Beverage Industry Trends and Strategic Insights 2022 whitepaper commissioned by Aptean confirmed that this matter is top-of-mind for industry decision-makers. Survey respondents—which included more than 650 food and beverage business executives—chose inflation as the most concerning external pressure for 2023 and ranked higher operating costs as the trend most likely to impact the food and beverage market over the next 5 years.

Knowing that, it’s safe to say that finding new ways to increase efficiency and revenue while reducing waste and unlocking savings will be high priorities for companies like yours in the near future. And while every food and beverage organization will have to pursue those goals with respect to the nuances of their sub-vertical and operational setup, there is a single solution that all can leverage to drive better financial outcomes.

The answer is purpose-built enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for food manufacturers. For proof, consider that IDC's survey indicated that food and beverage businesses with industry-specific ERP systems increased revenue by 5.3% and profit by 3.9% on average, compared to just 2.9% and 3.7%, respectively, for those with a generic solution.

In this post, we’re going to cover a variety of features that these systems offer, each of which can help ensure that your business’s bottom line remains healthy. We’ll also highlight how our industry-specific food and beverage solution, Aptean Food & Beverage ERP, shines when it comes to getting the most out of your resources and driving profitability.

Optimized Production Scheduling

Every hour is extremely valuable in food and beverage factory settings, and you must maximize productivity in order to meet your targets and satisfy consumer demand. As such, you’ll want to structure your runs and shifts so that downtime is kept to a minimum and no lines are left idle when they could be contributing to your output.

A good food manufacturing ERP will have the tools that you need to make every minute count. Aptean Food & Beverage ERP production scheduling features help you optimize resources, minimize slack times and boost operational efficiency while also offering flexible production order scheduling options and clear insight into work and machine center capacities.

Effective Production Planning

Correctly aligning supply with demand is a crucial part of maintaining margins in the food and beverage industry, as surplus inventory represents wasted resources, but material shortages can equate to missed opportunities. You must look ahead to ensure you have what you need to fulfill orders without overbuying and ending up with unused ingredients or unsold goods.

Production planning features offered by food manufacturing software help take the guesswork out of finding this delicate balance, giving your staff the information they need to make smarter decisions, faster. Our food ERP presents all existing sales order lines alongside available inventory and deploys alerts if changes will result in misalignment so that you can stay ahead of potential issues.

Flexible Production Scenarios

Not everything always goes just how you drew it up, especially not in the world of food and beverage, where supply chain disruptions and resource scarcity continue to impact daily operations. To truly thrive in the current business landscape, you need to be able to react to changing situations with agility and make adjustments as unforeseen challenges emerge and must be overcome.

Having multiple production scenarios prepared ahead of time is key for capitalizing on your manufacturing uptime, as you may need to pivot if deliveries are late or key team members are out. Aptean Food & Beverage ERP allows you to create different plans and assign one as the primary with the others as backups so that your operations can remain productive even in the event of an issue.

Proactive Expiration Management

You know all too well how serious a problem ingredient spoilage can be as a food and beverage manufacturer. Not only can it throw a wrench into your plans and prevent production of goods that you need to fulfill orders—it also represents a loss of the investment you made in your raw materials with no chance of recouping it.

Tracking the expiration dates of all of your lots and finished products is simply too complex an exercise to attempt manually, so it’s best left to ERP software designed for food and beverage companies. Our solution’s expiration management features allow you to configure timeframes and automatically issue proactive warnings when freshness windows are closing so that your stock doesn’t go to waste.

Versatile Trade Management

At Aptean, we know that you likely work with different trade partners in different ways and therefore need tools that offer you flexibility in the way you structure your agreements. That’s why we designed unique trade management features for Aptean Food & Beverage ERP that let you establish separate plans for each agreement in a simplified, straightforward fashion.

The module also lets you set variable prices, promotions, rebates, broker commissions, royalties and billbacks, as well as multiple levels within one agreement to offer different rates as orders scale. You can also apply mark-ups and discounts per item or customer based on fixed units of measure or net weight to improve profitability and make deals that unlock additional revenue.

Robust Advanced Pricing

Another strength of Aptean's food and beverage ERP is our advanced pricing functionalities, which allow for the creation of pricing tiers that apply to certain clients. Users can also implement advanced discounting methods and pricing structures based on individual units, boxes, cases or weight to facilitate sales and suit the agreements you have with different customers.

Our system’s tools let you create pricing hierarchies with multiple tiers that span different customer groups as well as individual clients. You can also flexibly leverage percentage- or dollar value-based discounts, and our advanced algorithms also help you determine the optimal way to calculate price, be it based on the shipment or requested/promised delivery date.

Get to Know the Aptean Advantage

We know that as passionate as you and your employees are about delivering consistently delicious and nutritious products to customers, at the end of the day your business must succeed financially in order for you to keep manufacturing the items your brand is known for. As we’ve outlined above, ERP software for food manufacturers can make a real difference in your efforts to thrive, even in difficult market conditions.

Before we conclude, there are some additional reasons to consider Aptean Food & Beverage ERP as your preferred choice when you’re selecting the system that’s right for your company. To begin with, there’s our dedicated professionals’ expertise in the food and beverage industry, developed over collective decades working in and with manufacturing companies like yours, and their deep understanding of the best practices required in modern operations.

Knowing how fast the world moves and how important flexibility is, we also offer cloud deployments of our award-winning solution on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, which alleviates the need for additional hardware requirements while also offering reliable access and system uptime. This implementation method offers the additional advantage of reducing the burden of system maintenance on your team, as updates are automatically applied.

Finally, there’s the fact that our industry-specific technology is built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central platform, which lends our offering a user-friendly and intuitive interface. That means that your employees can feel comfortable interacting with the software without the need for extensive additional training to keep productivity and profitability high.

Now, if you’re ready to learn more about Aptean Food & Beverage ERP and how it can help your organization unlock savings and increase profitability, reach out to us today. You can also request a personalized demo at your convenience.